Martha Blount isn't your average disc jockey. It's not about the way she spins beats, or the way she dances with her crowd. She can hold her own with the best of them, and has done so for nearly 20 years.
Blount better known as D.J. Martha, rocked Club Alliance club in Japan every Thursday to the smooth beats of Latin music for Salsa Night. What sets her apart from the rest is that she not only loves the music she plays, she grew up surrounded by it, having grown up in Brooklyn, New York to Puerto Rican parents who made Latin music a part of their life. "It's a passion for me. I love music," Blount said. "It's a way to introduce culture to all nationalities. Salsa is a mixture of Afro-Cuban rhythms, Latin jazz and musical influences from various Latino countries." She said her history and knowledge of the music is what gives her an edge over her younger counterparts. "They're never going to know the music I know" she said. "The old school is important. That's where they're getting all the new stuff, from the old school." Blount said it's been interesting to witness the popularity of Latin and salsa music, and how other genres have been born from it. There is merengue, bachata and more recently Reggaeton. Reggaeton is a mixture of Latin and Rap music, and is a growing fascination among younger audiences. While Blount said she respects the new music, she prefers to stick to her roots. Blount got her start behind the microphone after her parents moved to Hawaii in 1971. She worked as a disc jockey in Hawaii for 15 years, and in various other parts of the United States before moving to Yokosuka in 2001. "I started with 10 records, a unit and two speakers, " she said. "I started playing on base (at Schoffield Barracks in Hawaii.) They called me the Lady of Salsa." D.J. Martha said goodbye to Yokosuka in her last Salsa block party in 2005. In an interview before leaving, she recalled fond memories of her time in Japan and expressed a deep appreciation for the support she has received. "First of all, thanks to God who has given me the strength to do this, " she said. " I really believe it keeps me going." Blount also acknowledged her family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation club managers, and all those who came to dance to her beats. " I want to really thank the Yokosuka community for giving me the support they have throughout the years, and definitely the Japanese community because they stepped in powerfully."
By Denise T. Ward, CFAY, Public Affairs
Seahawk Umitaka | July 22, 2005
Copy: front cover; article
DJ Martha worked the military's Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) circuit for over 28 years. After traveling with her husband to various duty stations around the world, she made her final performance at Macan's Pub at New Orleans Naval Air Base in Belle Chasse, Louisiana from 2010 til 2012. She and her husband now reside in Tampa, FL, following a 26 year naval career. Although she is not performing with the military like before, she's still available to do MWR events and private parties. As for now, she has taken her passion of Latin music to the senior citizens in the community. (Click the LATIN BREEZE link above)
More articles about DJ Martha
JAPAN: There's nothing hotter than salsa, Seahawk-Umitaka, 12/3/04
JAPAN: Lady of Salsa serves it up nice and spicy, Seahawk-Umitaka, 2/13/04
JAPAN: New Salsa DJ Heats Up MWR Clubs, Seahawk-Umitaka, 11/29/02
HAWAII: Latin Music in Hawaii, Military Times, June '84
HAWAII: The music of salsa hits army clubs, Military Times, 4/3/84
Lady of Salsa
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